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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kamen Rider Gaim Episode 26 Review: Those Darn Grapes (Spoiler Alert!!)

Gaim picks up right away right after some comedic filler as Kouta tells Mai about Yuuya's death and even how he found out. Micchy's fear has become a reality, so how will this boy react to Mai possibly breaking out of his happy world?
I really liked how the episode started out with Kouta telling Mai the truth. It was a cliffhanger from the previous episode and for the show in general so they get right too it. The series isn't wasting any of it's run time as things are progressing well. The best part about the first scene was Mai. Now of course she is sad, but she picks herself right up and helps Kouta. Kouta told her that he killed Yuuya when he became an Inves and still blames himself even if it was out of his control. It is Kouta's sin and he is going to be carrying that for the rest of his life and Mai wants to help him. She feels bad for him bearing this by himself and this is actually a great callback to the previous episodes. Kouta was doing things by himself many times and constantly putting himself at risk for others. In those previous episodes Mai did tell him to think more for himself and now that has come back into play, but things have changed. Mai easily sees that things have changed and the overall situation has gotten more serious, now she is the one who wants to help. Kouta still aims big and wants to help mankind and now Mai is extending her care. Also I am still impressed that a character who really only had one episode still affects the series, it's just impressive. The growth of Kouta has been amazing and I'm happy to see that Mai is growing as well.
Mai even has a reaction to this news as she wants to tell people about the truth. Mai easily learned much more than just Yuuya as she now knows about what the fruit does to people. She doesn't want people to bear problems by themselves and in a way she has gained a problem as well which is the truth of the fruit. Mai straight up tires to spread the news with as many people as possible and is not hiding the truth. I remember not agreeing with some of her thoughts in those first episodes, but I am clearly on her side now as she is not holding back and the scenes she had with Kaito were great as well. Mai in general is becoming a bigger character, especially for one of the supporting characters.
Then there was Micchy, the boy who wants to keep his little personal world in his control. Micchy wanted Mai to be happy and with her knowing the truth he is not happy with this at all. Micchy then keeps his act up, but he clearly snapped at this episode. When Mai was going to tell the people about what she learned, he summoned Inves! The Inves attack the people and some even accuse the Beat Riders of doing this since the timing was right on. This is something I have to question though, Micchy in a way made Mai sad because he ruined her chance to tell the truth to the people. Now I bet in his thinking he blames Kouta since when he sees her he breaks out of his act and shows his true colors. He is blaming Kouta for making Mai sad even though right at that moment he just did. Again in his mind it's more like "If you didn't tell her, this wouldn't happen!" So when Micchy shows his true colors in front of Kouta and the other Beat Riders, they are all shocked. This is really the first time Micchy acted like this even for himself as Mai delivers him a slap to the face. When that happened you can tell right away that we lost Micchy when he got hit by the person he loves and is trying to protect.
What I ended up loving the most with Micchy was how the direction was. There were many good camera shots of Micchy's true reactions to what has happened. Then after the slap to the face, he has a change of tone in his voice. When he talks with Ryouma about a plan, there is a more sinister feeling to his voice and even how he is expressing himself sends off this creepy vibe. Micchy then pulls off his usual act as he plans to have Kouta vanish. He is literally blaming Kouta for all that has happened since his little bubble around him is starting to pop and he needs to get rid of anyone that is trying to burst it. The plan he thinks of is having Kouta fight Kaito and when he is transforming before the armor covers his body, he shoots him in the back. I've had a feeling Micchy had this inside of him, but I'm surprised he did this to Kouta of all people. I would at least think at first he was going to have some inner struggle with himself on the decision to get rid of Kouta, but he goes straight to betraying one of his friends. This just shows that Micchy is not going to hold back on his plans as anyone he thinks is in the way, he will get rid of them.
Kaito got a bit of an upgrade in this episode and this of course is part of Micchy's plan. Originally, Ryouma was going to stop using Kaito because he cannot stand up against the Overlords. Yoko of all people wants to see his hidden potential which is surprising as Ryouma never saw her care for anyone like that. To help Kaito out he is given a Genesis Driver and a Lemon Energy Lock Seed. It's quite funny; the song for Lemon Energy uses the words "fight" and "power" that alone is a very brief description of Kaito. Now of course there is more to him and the show proves that, but he does boast about power a whole lot. He even sees that fighting the Overlords is the only way of gaining their trust. Kaito can now keep a strong front against the Overlords now as he actually ends up winning when he faced the red Overlord. This is a big jump for Kaito since even though he is being used; he is gaining more power to use which his is what he wants.
The action in this episode was pretty strong as well as we got a debut fight of course with Baron becoming a Genesis Rider! First I will get to Kouta fighting Yoko though. This was part of Micchy's plan as it could have gone either way for him. He just wants Kouta gone and at the same time he helps Ryouma get Kaito to the Overlord. So with Kouta he easily has gotten stronger in general. Last time he fought Marika, she was holding back and not using her full strength and now this was more of a fight. Kouta holds her off, gets many blows on her and even uses Kachidoki arms to finish the fight. Then comes Kaito with his new powers and I love this so much. Now this wasn't one sided at all, as the red Overlord is still a worthy foe for Baron. Other than having more power, the Sonic Arrow alone is a much better weapon as the longer range really helps him out. Kaito even starts jumping around more and even performs a sick arrow shot to counter an attack. The end of the fight as the two strike each other with a charged attack, but Baron's arrow does more damage. Then the red Overlord starts speaking in Japanese and spouting out that a mere ape cannot be this strong.
Even though this isn't an episode with much to talk about like previous episodes, everything I have mentioned is something I enjoyed. I will have to say the direction for the first scene could have been better with the movement of the characters felt odd and a bit cliche at times, but that first scene was still great with how the acting was and overall emotional feel. Micchy's camera shots were glorious as these were my favorite parts for the direction as you see many expressions of Micchy in this episode. Then Genesis Rider Baron is a huge plus and I can't wait to see how this is all going to play out since we have a more powerful rider in the game. This episode gets an A as the progression is going along nicely as the plot and the characters are moving forward and not backwards.
Next Time: There's Oren!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting Fact:
    Baron's Lemon Energy Arm wasn't part of Toei's original plan. It was because of popularity of his character that caused them to give new power.
    Quite frankly, I really like his new form; I especially like the cape, where it stands out quite well.
    Aside Micchy (who's become more villainous), Kaito is one of my favorite characters/riders I've seen in past years.
    He's cool, calm, intelligent, and charismatic.
    It makes me wonder how he would have done his performance as Marvelous in Gokaiger, where he almost got his role; personally, it would have been more interesting IMO; Ryota Ozawa just didn't click on me.